Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8, 9-12

This lesson accompanies the BrainPOP topic Magnetism, and addresses standards about identifying cause and effect relationships of magnetic interactions. Students demonstrate understanding through a variety of creative projects.


Hold two paper clips together to demonstrate that they do not stick together like a magnet. Ask: 

  • Are these paper clips magnetic? How do you know?

Put the paperclip up to a magnet so that it becomes magnetised and sticks to the magnet. Ask:

  • Is the paper clip magnetic now? What changed?
  • How do we know if something is magnetic?


  • Read aloud the description below the Movie player.
  • Play the Movie, pausing to check for understanding.
  • Have students read one of the following Related Reading articles: “Flora and Fauna” or “In Depth.” Partner them with someone who read a different article to share what they learned with each other

Step 3: APPLY

Students synthesize their ideas and express them through one or more of the following creative projects or activities. They can work individually or collaborate.  

  • Make-a-Movie: Produce a movie about yourself as an explorer explaining how a compass works and why it is useful.
  • Make-a-Map: Make a concept map identifying key features of magnets.
  • Creative Coding: code a game that challenges players to sort by objects that are magnetic, temporary magnets or not magnets.


  • Reflect: After sharing creative projects with each other, students reflect on what they’ve learned about magnetism. Prompt them by asking questions such as: 
    • What does it mean that some objects are only temporarily magnetic?
    • What role do magnets play in our world today?
    • What are some functions of the earth’s magnetic field?

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments